Monday, July 19, 2010
~ "Sincerely yours..."
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Phil 4:12-13)
The NIV translation of Philippians 4:12 reads: "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Paul wrote this from prison. How in the world could anyone be content in prison?
What Paul had learned (and what we must learn) is that contentment in the Lord comes through a confident faith. He had learned to love others before himself. He wrote with a spirit of rejoicing.
God is fully aware of all of our situations. He knows our needs. He knows our wants. He asks us to follow his law and obey his commandments (the ones he wrote, not the edited version of society). Sometimes the answer to our prayer is "no". At that time, we may become discouraged because that is what we really "want". We may feel we deserve these things - that we are entitled! Like the man who is upset because his co-worker got the promotion he felt he deserved, we become bitter. "Why is God doing this to me?" God sees the whole picture. He knows what's in store for us. He knows our needs before we do.
The Bible tells us to rejoice! Go to him in thanksgiving for what is going to do for you - don't save the accolades for afterwards. When we write a letter requesting the help of a creditor, or a business - sometimes we put at the bottom the words "I am thanking you in advance for your attention to this matter".
Go to the Lord with a spirit of rejoicing for what he is going to do for you! Thank him in advance for hearing your prayer. Humble yourself before him and he will bless you more than you could ever imagine. Give him the praise he deserves and be content to know that one day you will truly be satisfied. Be willing to accept the "no" answer, knowing he has a much better plan for you somewhere down the road and that in all things, he is there.